What it feels like to wait 28 days to see your own doctor and one woman’s journey through workers’ comp in Michigan.
Here is a true story from our founding partner, Alex Berman, about a recent workers’ comp experience. It is an eye-opening story that shows the horror people feel when the insurance company selects the doctor. We hope it inspires people to seek legal help when they feel hopeless.
While working at a jewelry store, H ran into a fellow employee while walking through a door. She fell on her elbow. She went to the employer clinic, as instructed by HR and an x-ray showed several bone fragments. Approximately one week later, she was seen by one of the clinic’s ortho specialists, Dr. P.
He advised her that she required surgery and that the elbow was a difficult area. He told her that section of bone needed to be removed. She became suspicious when he did not mention the various loose bone fragments in the recommended procedure.
H has many friends who are doctors and they advised her to see another specialist instead. Someone who did primarily elbows and has an outstanding reputation.
On her own, she made an appointment to see this surgeon, only to be turned away when she appeared. She was advised they could not charge her private medical insurance, since it was an open workers’ comp claim.
She was desperate at this point and asked me if I could help. It had already been several weeks since the injury and she was very concerned about waiting for 28 days to see the specialist. Based on her research she was determined that Dr. P would not perform the surgery he recommended.
I contacted the adjuster and she consented to allow H to see the specialist at once. Once she finally saw him, he commented immediately that this should have been taken care of earlier and that because of the delay, he could not guarantee a good result.
He described the surgical procedure he would perform (which was totally different than what Dr. P had suggested) and scheduled her for immediate surgery.
Following the surgery, she underwent intensive PT to regain range of motion. The specialist was concerned that the delay may have made that outcome less likely. She was also informed that had she undergone the type of procedure Dr. P was going to perform, she likely would have had permanent loss of range of motion and limited use of her arm.
Fortunately, she has now regained full use of her arm with no pain. Had she been required to wait the entire 28 days to see a qualified surgeon, it is likely that she would have lost at least partial use of her arm.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Truthout.org.